It’s not every artist who can point to the purchase of a box of overhead transparencies as a turning point. But for Seattleite Katy Stone, her girl-meets-outmoded clear plastic sheets moment was a game changer. “I became instantly obsessed with the material,” says Stone, who early on eschewed the traditional oil-on-canvas methodology. “It was flat like paper but clear. I could cut it out with scissors, and when I hung it on a wall, light would go through it, creating a second shadow version of the work.” Today, Stone paints on plastic, paper and metal, and layers the elements into intricate assemblages that spread across walls or spill onto the floor, blurring the boundaries between drawing, painting and sculpture. “I love the line and fluidity of paint, and I love the directness and simplicity of drawing,” she says. “But I also like the expansive feeling when objects occupy space in some way, as in sculpture.” Not surprisingly, her abstract imagery invites interpretation. “I don’t intentionally make Rorschachs,” she says. “It’s just how my work happens.”
LX: How I got started:
KS: I took a sort of DIY approach and started a cooperative exhibition space with a group of friends in Seattle called SOIL. Ultimately, I got picked up by Greg Kucera Gallery, and things began to bloom. I’ll have a solo show there later this year.
LX: Art icons:
KS: Hokusai, Pat Steir, Polly Apfelbaum, and the Group of Seven—Canadian landscape painters from the early 20th century.
LX: Favorite museum:
KS: I’m never disappointed by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. It always has compelling contemporary shows.
LX: Dream collaboration:
KS: I’d love to work with a dance troupe and create a theatrical set. And people have told me that my work should be turned into clothing, so that would be fantastic, too.
LX: Treasured keepsake:
I have a tiny white daisy that my husband once gave me. It is no bigger than a pinky fingernail, and when it dried, it took on the most beautiful shape. I created an entire body of work based on that tiny little flower.